Chesterfield look to topple old adversary

Dan Gardner
Dan Gardner

Saturday’s League One clash at Highbury Stadium sees two promoted sides do battle, as Chesterfield FC and Fleetwood Town meet for the first time this season.

Both sides secured promotion in May from League Two and have continued their form in the step above, winning their first two games.

They also possess a rare commodity, it seems, with two men in goalscoring form - Eoin Doyle for the Spireites and Jamie Proctor for the Cod Army.

Proctor was one of five summer signings though it is through the loan market where Graham Alexander has significantly strengthened his squad.

Stephen Dobbie (Crystal Palace) and Ian Hume (Preston North End) have bags of experience whereas Adam Campbell (Newcastle United) and Bobby Grant (Blackpool) are promising talents.

Chesterfield’s strength may be in the fact they’ve kept the majority of last season’s squad together and rewarded several first team players with contract extensions.

Paul Cook’s side showed encouraging signs on Tuesday night despite the defeat to MK Dons while Saturday’s opponents Fleetwood continued to set the pace at the top of League One.

Dan Gardner, on his return from injury, came off the bench and looked lively, with Cook confirming afterwards that the forward and squad had come through unscathed.

Two goals in the last ten minutes saw off Scunthorpe United as Alexander’s side maintained their 100 per cent start to the league season.

Chesterfield and Fleetwood did battle four times last season, meeting twice in the league and twice more in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy northern area final.

The Spireites came out on top in both competitions, booking a Wembley date after a 3-2 aggregate win in the JPT and completing a memorable comeback to lift the title on the last day of last season.

Gary Roberts had the final word on that sunny May day and he will have to be at his best again if Chesterfield are to return with all three points.